A lawyer was rescued by the Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday from Rajasthan's Dholpur, about two weeks after he was kidnapped and 20 teams were deployed to find him.
Akram Ansari was reportedly kidnapped from the crowded Bhagwan Talkies intersection in Agra city on the evening of February 3. He was going home to Ferozabad after meeting a family member at a private hospital; he had booked a private taxi.
"I was getting late and since there was no bus available immediately for Ferozabad, I boarded a taxi in which three men were already inside; they pretended to be passengers. After travelling for 10 minutes, the three man and the driver blind-folded me and drove to an unknown location," Akram told reporters after being rescued.
Two days later, on February 5, the lawyer's family received a ransom call of Rs 55 lakh. Three more ransom calls were later made to the family.
Senior police officer Ajay Anand told reporters, "Since the gang was unknown and based in a neighbouring state, we decided to lay a trap. After negotiations, the ransom amount was brought down to Rs 15 lakh. After the fourth ransom call on February 16, Rs 12.50 lakh cash was paid to the gang in the forest of Gadi Bajna in Bharatpur district. The man who came to pick-up the cash bag was then tracked by 20 teams of policemen who were on 10 motorcycles and cars. On February 17, our teams found the exact location where the lawyer was held hostage and we raided the place."
A special WhatsApp group was created to share live updates of the gang's movement. The team led by police officer Chaman Chawda, with eight Station House Officers, 12 constables and surveillance team led by inspector Narendra Kumar, managed to arrest the kingpin of the gang, Ugrasen, 56, of Badi area in Dholpur district on Tuesday.
The police also arrested five more men allegedly involved in the kidnapping including Ugrasen's wife Urmila, brother-in-laws Rakesh, 27, Mukesh, 22, and acquaintances Surender, 38, and Lakhan, 49.
Lakhan, a history-sheeter, is named in eight other cases.
The ADG said, "Lakhan was the one who contacted the advocate's family four times for ransom. Two more persons involved in the plot to kidnap-Samundra and Rakesh's wife Rekha-- are yet to be arrested. Our team is still searching for them. Ugrasen had kept the lawyer at his brother-in-law's home."
Police also said that they have recovered Rs 10 lakh cash, a mobile phone and four SIM cards used for ransom call. After the successful operation, ADG recommended reward of Rs 50,000 for the team which cracked the case.